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BCTF pulls controversial online counter-military recruitment poster

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Comox teacher attacks campaign against military

Post by Guest on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 16:21

Comox teacher attacks campaign against military

Richard Watts / Times Colonist
NOVEMBER 17, 2016 05:55 AM


BCTF President Glen Hansman said in an email that the poster was not meant to attack the Canadian military or dishonour Canadian veterans.

A Comox teacher and military wife is embarking on a petition demanding the B.C. Teachers’ Federation stop demonizing the Canadian Armed Forces.

Zoe Baker, 39, recently discovered anti-military posters from the social justice committee on her union’s website. The posters warn that Canadian military recruiters might come to schools and target “children” and say teachers should be on guard to counter their “propaganda.”

“It did a real disservice to the culture of the Canadian Forces,” said Baker, who has two children ages five and seven.

“It makes them seem very predatory, and that’s just not accurate.”

Union president Glen Hansman said in an email that the poster was not meant to attack the Canadian military or dishonour Canadian veterans.

The BCTF said the poster was put online in 2010 and has since been removed. It was prompted by concerns raised over a Canada-wide, movie-style recruitment ad glamourizing combat.

Maj. Adam Thomson, commanding officer, recruitment for B.C. and the Yukon, said Canadian Forces recruiters regularly attend hundreds of high schools a year without trouble.

He said the postings concern him because they portray military recruiters as aggressive in their tactics — something he said is not the case. In fact, the Canadian Armed Forces is quite selective about new members. Last year, for example, 40,000 people applied in Canada and only 10,000 were accepted.

Recruiters are senior Forces members who work hard to present a balanced perspective, Thomson said, adding that it’s not worth their while to attract anyone who is not a serious recruit.

“Recruiters do talk about the positives because we want to attract people who are interested in a military career,” he said.

“But our recruiters are also well-experienced individuals and offer a pretty balanced description of life in the military.”

Back in Comox, Baker has launched an online petition on change.org, collecting more than 700 signatures.

In reaching out to other teachers, she has found many were not aware the union had a social justice committee or that it had targeted the Canadian Armed Forces.

“I wonder if that is not overstepping the bounds of a labour union,” she said.

“I’m really not happy that my union put this out.”

Baker, who has taught history and English, has lived in Comox for about a year and has yet to land a teaching job there.

“My husband is deployed, I’m on my own, I’m exhausted and I miss him so much it physically hurts,” Baker said. “So to see his profession maligned in this way, I just can’t accept that.

“And it’s not about championing the military,” she added.

“I just think as teachers we need to be responsible with information.”

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/comox-teacher-attacks-campaign-against-military-1.2856170


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Ill-timed military poster from BCTF offends

Post by Guest on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 06:28

Ill-timed military poster from BCTF offends

Matt Preprost / Alaska Highway News
NOVEMBER 16, 2016 09:19 AM


Dan Davies speaks at the Remembrance Day service at the Fort St. John Legion on Nov. 11. Davies was not impressed with the BCTF's pamphlet on military service.

The association representing teachers in School District 60 says a counter-military recruitment pamphlet circulating on the Internet isn’t representative of all its members.

As Canadians readied to mark Remembrance Day last week, a two-page pamphlet from the B.C. Teacher’s Federation went viral on social media, in which military recruitment was described as a “social justice issue” and encouraged teachers to lobby their school district to oppose recruitment in schools.

“I got a teacher here that served in the Canadian Armed Forces. This is not reflective of all our members,” said Michelle Wiebe of the Peace River North Teacher’s Association, noting she’s fired off a letter to the BCTF to express that view.

The BCTF has pulled the pamphlet, dated December 2015, from its website, and has said it was created in 2010 in response to recruitment methods at the time.

While the first page of the pamphlet encouraged students to ask tough questions of themselves before deciding on a military career, the second page included 14 actions for teachers to take to counter military messaging. Among them: having students inform teachers when they are approached by recruiters: counter military propaganda by calling in to TV and radio stations, and by writing local newspapers; asking local unions and school boards to pass motions opposing recruitment in schools; and encouraging local industry and workers to resist military contracts.

“The first page, asking questions and being informed, there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Wiebe, who only learned of the pamphlet’s existence last Thursday. “I think it went over the top for me as a counter military (message).”

She added: “Every organization you’re going to have spectrum of how people feel about certain issues. I probably have teachers that are on both sides as well.”

Dan Davies said the pamphlet upset him as a teacher of 12 years and a Canadian Forces reservist of 22 years.

“It certainly doesn’t represent myself as a teacher and my thoughts. I’m struggling to find anyone’s thoughts it seems to represents,” he said.

Teachers encourage youth to approach everything with an open mind, he said.

“Here in Fort St. John, the high school, the Royal Military College comes there. Yes, it is a Canadian Forces college, but it is another career option and it is another post-secondary school option,” he said.

“As an educators, again, it’s up to all of us to look at all the options out there,” he continued.

“The Canadian Armed Forces has always been option, always will be an option. And it’s no different than the RCMP recruiting in our schools.”

In a statement to the CBC, the BCTF said it appreciates and respects Canadian veterans. It said the poster was created “in response to teachers’ worries about recruitment strategies in schools as well as a nation-wide TV ad campaign from the former Harper government which seemed to glamourize combat and target youth,” according to the CBC.

http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/fort-st-john/ill-timed-military-poster-from-bctf-offends-1.2811088

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BCTF pulls controversial online counter-military recruitment poster

Post by Guest on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 16:13

BCTF pulls controversial online counter-military recruitment poster

Online petition calls the B.C. Teacher's Federation poster 'extremely insulting' to Canadian Armed Forces

By Brady Strachan, CBC News Posted: Nov 15, 2016 6:00 AM PT Last Updated: Nov 15, 2016 6:00 AM PT


BCTF poster, created in 2010 in response to teachers' concerns about the federal governments' recruiting methods, has been taken offline because of an online backlash (BCTF)

The B.C. Teachers' Federation (BCTF) has pulled a controversial poster from its website that called on teachers to take an active stance against recruitment by the Canadian Armed Forces.

The poster was created in 2010 in response to concerns about the federal government's recruiting methods at the time, according to a spokesperson for the teachers' union.

It calls military recruitment a 'social justice issue' and asks students considering a career in the Canadian Armed Forces to ask themselves if there is another career that would suit them better.

The poster also encourages teachers to support "counter-recruitment messages and programs" in schools and to make sure students are aware of statistics about military casualties, liabilities and suicides.

"As teachers, which actions could be an effective component of a counter-recruitment campaign in your school or community?" it said.


BCTF poster created in 2010 in response to the federal government's recruiting tactics, has been removed from its website because of an online backlash (BCTF)

The document is not currently in circulation but existed on the BCTF website until it was taken down because of a recent online backlash.

Last week, links to the poster spread on social media sites, along with criticism from people who support the Canadian Armed Forces and the military community.

A 'misrepresentation of teachers and their attitudes'

Zoe Baker, a former teacher and military wife in Comox, B.C. created an online petition against the messaging in the poster.

"I feel that it's a misrepresentation of teachers and their attitudes towards the military," Baker said.

"I would like them to issue a formal retraction and state that this does not reflect the voice or teachers in B.C."

As of Monday, the petition had gained more than 600 signatures from people who identify as current teachers, military veterans and people who support the Canadian Armed Forces.

BCTF member Lida Carey, a math teacher in Revelstoke, was outraged by the poster when she saw it on Facebook.

"I just think that it is really short sighted by the BCTF to say that we should talk kids out of (a military career) or tell military people that they shouldn't be (in schools), Carey said.

"I think the military plays a role. Even if peace were to happen overnight, we still need the military."

Poster no longer in circulation

In a statement, the BCTF wrote the poster was created several years ago in response to teachers' worries about recruitment strategies in schools as well as a nation-wide TV ad campaign from the former Harper government which seemed to glamourize combat and target youth.

B.C. teachers appreciate and respect the sacrifices Canadian veterans have made, the union said in the statement.

The poster is no longer in circulation and the document has been pulled from the BCTF website.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bctf-pulls-controversial-online-counter-military-recruitment-poster-1.3850942


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